Gasping for air waking up. sleeping not well?

A week or so ago I woke up in the middle of my sleep literally gasping for air. Well hyperventilating. It was so scary I thought I was about to stop breathing. I went downstairs and then drank a little bit of water and then it went away except I felt nauseous and that I was about to vomit but I didnt. I could taste... show more A week or so ago I woke up in the middle of my sleep literally gasping for air. Well hyperventilating. It was so scary I thought I was about to stop breathing. I went downstairs and then drank a little bit of water and then it went away except I felt nauseous and that I was about to vomit but I didnt. I could taste it. I went to urgent care and the doctor examined me and that was it. Didnt run any tests. I dont have health insurance. He said it might have been gastric reflux or maybe sleep apnea..and that he wouldnt really know unless there was more tests and for me to get a physician so they can know me better.

I usually take herbal sleep medications like melatonin, valerian and sometimes 5 htp. I havent taken them since then but lately this week I wake up right before I sleep and panic and jolt out of bed feeling nervous, heart beating fast and then I go to the bathroom always to urinate. I havent slept that well these past few days at all. tossing and turning in my sleep.

Ive been to a cardiologist and had a cbc-complete blood panel a year or so ago and nothing showed up. I actually had a cbc probably 2-3 times since a year or so ago. I thought it was a thyroid issue but maybe its sleep apnea. My dad has it. Im thin but I heard thin people can get it.

What should I do? I have no health insurance. Im on unemployment (laid off a year ago). This lack of sleep these past few days is causing me to get depressed and think negative.
Update: "maybe you know" do you have sleep apnea or diagnosed? I have insomnia though I dont sleep all the way through without waking up
Update 2: if its anxiety why is it only at night right when i sleep? thats why i think its a sleep disorder.
Update 3: "eagles fan" thank you very much for the information. I will look to see if I can get temporary insurance. I havent slept this crappy in awhile and the attacks are becoming more frequent
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